“You seem so passionate about what you’re doing with your life. How do you find your passion?” That is one of the biggest questions I’ve been asked during my career as a journalist, founder of Go Inspire Go and university instructor.
I have a woo-woo and practical answer. I’m part spiritual — I believe in trusting in God (some call Universe) but also taking action. Start by taking baby steps that lead to your big goal. Here’s what I came up with in a simple equation:
Trust + Action = TRACTION
In college, I would’ve never believed the trajectory in which my life unfolded. I definitely didn’t believe in the magic of positive thinking/believing. This happened through opportunities and people who have showed up to guide me.
When I was a student at the University of San Francisco, I wanted to be a TV reporter. I remember my old school journalism professor Michael Robertson asking my News Media class, “How many of you want to be TV reporters?”
Statistics show about two percent make it. I was an unlikely two percent. The odds seemed stacked against me. I didn’t have a big network of journalists, I wasn’t born into a family with any journalists and financially, we were poor.
I remember wondering if I would ever achieve my dreams — getting paid to be a TV reporter and host a show on PBS. Unclear about how I would hit my target, my gut told me to TRUST. I am spiritual and knew that I could trust God would use my life for a bigger purpose than serving myself. I knew that I would regret it if I didn’t try to tell peoples’ stories as a news reporter. I’d rather try and figure out that it wasn’t for me than not have the courage to take those baby steps. I said prayers, practiced gratitude and wrote down my goals.
I also applied ACTION. I interned five times at various production companies and local TV stations. I was in it to win it. I recall logging tapes for a whole semester during one of my internships, wondering how this would ever help me with my job as a TV reporter. It did — it helped me identify good soundbites while interviewing people on the street — a critical time-saving skill to have for breaking news situations.
Still not convinced? Here’s one thing you can do NOW to help you reframe your state of mind:
Instead of focusing on how a future job, beefy paycheck or status will make you happy, focus on what you can control. Keep up the hard work, network and be around people you want to be like (I joined the Asian American Journalists Association). Your experiences and hard work will add up to the sum of what you’re supposed to do. Here’s to you being part of that two percent too!